When I just arrived in Zhejiang, I thought I would have a relaxing holiday. However, during the weekend, I experienced a life that really similar to SUTD project nights. There was a final showcase for our origami robots on Wednesday and we tried our best to finish the parts for showcase. All in all, the final exhibition was not bad, a lot of groups did good job. However, the judgments(professors) were always strict to us. I had to complain about the bad course arrangement of the origami robot project. The worst thing was that professors and TA did not inform us the specific materials that need to submit by this Friday at the beginning of this week. They just threw us a requirement list of materials on Wednesday night which they never mentioned during the last part of the project. However, a lot of students have already left Hangzhou to travel around. It was too difficult to finish them on time.

Anyway, no matter how nice or bad it was, we have already said goodbye to this project. We started our field trip to Bai Zhang which could be considered as a short holiday. Bai Zhang was a rural area in Hang Zhou which was famous for bamboo. We went there to experience and have a basic understand of the village life in east part of China. No matter how I prepared myself in mind, I still got shocked by big cottages in this village. Instead of poor life, the villagers here were all living in large cottages with fully equipped living facilities.
We stayed in a bamboo master, Mr. Zhou ‘s cottage. There was a large yard for Mr. Zhou to store a car and do his bamboo work. He also built a small field to grow some vegetables and feed some ducks and hens.  

On the first day we arrived, we followed Mr. Zhou to select the suitable bamboo for bamboo weaving and bamboo rice. It was a long way to find the best material. We spent so much energy climbing the mountain and getting rid of the mosquitoes. At the end, Mr. Zhou used his sickle to slash a path for us in the bamboo forest and we cut down 4 bamboo one by one.

Even though, we were so tired when we went back to the house, we were still attracted deeply by Mr. Zhou’s proficient skills of cutting bamboo into extremely thin strips. After observing, we started to try cutting one by one and have a big dinner together which was almost the same for the remaining meals.

To start the second day, we visited a small town near the village and took a lot of pictures of the beautiful flowers. There will be a small music party at the centre of the flower field at night. During the afternoon, we learnt the bamboo weaving from Mr. Zhou to make a cute basket and made bamboo rice on our own by fulfilling the bamboo with mixture which had rice, mushroom, meat and beans.

Bamboo weaving was so interesting for me that I was 30 mins late for the music party, unfortunately, the music party ended when I rushed to the flower filed. It was too short, so was the three-day trip. On the last day morning, we tried and struggled to finish all the parts of our bamboo baskets. With the strong support and help of Mr. Zhou, we successfully made the basket that we wanted before we left. We really appreciated the care and nice explanation of Mr. Zhou and the tasty food made by Mrs. Zhou in these short but precious three days.

It’s time for us to share the problems and ideas that we discovered in the relax and enjoyable village life on the next week’s meeting. I had to end this week’s blog here to prepare for the meeting now. Hope we could have more interesting experience in Zhejiang.


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